Fayetteville Pays to Keep Drake Field Tower Open

Reserve funds allocated to temporarily prevent closure.

Drake Field Tower
Drake Field Tower
** Photo courtesy of Drake Field Airport**

The city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, has decided to take matters into its own hands to ensure the continued operations of the air traffic control tower at Drake Field Airport (FYV). Fayetteville was one of many airports around the country slated to close by the end of this week. But, according to local news stations, the city council put in a last minute vote during its meeting on Tuesday to allocate the funding necessary to keep the tower open for the rest of the year, reportedly about $250,000. The vote passed unanimously.

“We’re hoping that it will be resolved and we won’t have to take that money out of reserves,” said Fayetteville alderman Adella Gray. “But at this point in time that was the action we took last night to make it possible for a year.”

Whether there will be any legal snags in delaying the tower closure at Drake Field remains to be seen. But the city plans to shorten the hours of operation slightly. Currently the tower is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week. The city plans to operate the tower from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the same hours the tower is currently open during the weekend. The general aviation airport is home to about 100 airplanes and saw more than 36,000 tower operations in 2012.